21st July In History

A root from where we stemmed is our history, and like every story has a beginning, our past has a great role to play in our present. Our chaotic routines might have forced us to think it is the present which we should concentrate on and not think about the past, which is somewhat correct, but only to some extent. However, when we give it a thought, we realize that we cannot do without history. After all, it is the past which has shaped our future and one end of the thread of changes which have occurred over the years, lies buried somewhere in the past. Many of us dismiss history by terming it ‘boring’ and ‘obsolete’ and often fail to understand its importance. Each day holds some or the other significance, but there are a few which have witnessed events which revolutionized the world. One such date is 21st July, which has seen the beginning of ‘NATO’ as well as the division of Vietnam. Apart from these, there are numerous other important events which occurred on this day and were instrumental in building the today which we live in. Scroll down to dive into the past and get a refreshing idea of our present.




Diocletian Makes Maximian His Co-Ruler

Diocletian became the Roman emperor after serving in several military designations. On this day, he chose and appointed Maximian as his co-ruler.



Leopold I Becomes The King Of Belgium

Belgium became an independent state after the 1830 Revolution, and Leopold I was elected its king by the ‘Belgian National Congress’. In June 1831, he accepted the office and began his duties on 21st July, the same year.



The Mansion House Speech

David Lloyd George was an eminent politician and one of the most important persons in bringing about the idea of a welfare state. On this day in 1911, he delivered the famous Mansion House Speech, and it came as a shock to many German politicians who thought he had anti-war views.



Hitler’s Message After Failed Assassination Attempt

The assassination of Hitler which was planned and executed, but the bomb which was planted could not kill him although there were some minor injuries. On this day in 1944, Hitler sent a message saying he was still alive and “accounts will be settled.” Claus von Stauffenberg, who was assigned with the task to assassinate him was shot to death in Berlin, Germany along with his accomplices.



North Atlantic Treaty Ratified

Three years after the North Atlantic Treaty was signed in Washington DC, on 21st July, 1952, the United States Senate made it official. This treaty was the basis on which the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed.



The Partition Of Vietnam

During the Indo-china war, there was a lot of chaos regarding Vietnam, and to put an end to these, the Geneva Conference was held. In the conference, it was decided that Vietnam should be partitioned, and thus, on this day in 1954, the country was divided into North Vietnam and South Vietnam.



Christopher Ewart-Biggs Assassinated

Christopher Ewart-Biggs was the British consul to Ireland and he was the target of assassins. Ironically, Biggs was aware of this and tried to escape by taking preventive measures. But on 21st July, 1976, his car crossed a landmine planted close to his house by the ‘Provisional Irish Republican Army’. The bomb exploded, killing him and his co-passenger Judith Cooke, while the driver and another passenger Brian Cubbon suffered injuries.



Third Taiwan Strait Crisis

On 21st July, 1995, the People’s Republic of China began a missile test by trying the intensity of missiles in the water bodies around Taiwan. This continued for around nine months and apparently, PRC did this because Taiwan was trying to separate itself from the One-China policy.



Nepal Gets Its First President

Nepal was declared to be a republic in May 2008, and the same year, Minister of Health Ram Baran Yadav, was elected its president on 21st July. Thus, Yadav grabbed the headlines for this feat and he served in this designation for the next seven years.



Battle Of Taillebourg

In the Battle of Taillebourg, Louis IX of France and his brother Alphonse of Poitiers fought against the rebels which supported Hugh X of Lusignan and Henry III of England. On this day in 1242, the combined army of Louis IX and his brother, defeated the rebels on the bridge over the Charente River.



Battle Of Shrewsbury

On 21st July, 1403, the Battle of Shrewsbury was fought between the Lancastrian King, Henry IV and a group of rebels led by Henry "Harry Hotspur" Percy from Northumberland. In this battle, the rebels were defeated the Lancastrian King’s army.



French Troops Land On The Isle Of Wight

On this day, in 1545, the first troop of French army landed on the Isle of Wight. The event holds an important place in Europe’s history.



Battle Of Jemmingen

The Battle of Jemmingen was fought between the Louis of Nassau and Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, Duke of Alba during the ‘Eighty Years War’. On this day in 1568, the Louis of Nassau was defeated by the Duke of Alba.



Conflict Between Spanish Armada & Royal Navy

Spain wanted to invade England and for this they sent the Spanish Armada to fight the English. However, on 21st July, 1588, the advancement of the Spanish Armada was halted by the bombardment from the Royal Navy, and eventually, the Spanish had to revert via North Sea.



Raid On Málaga

During the Anglo-Spanish War, on 21st July, 1656, the English raided the city of Málaga. It was carried out by the English military and five ships namely, ‘HMS Antelope’, ‘HMS Henry’, ‘HMS Greyhound’, ‘HMS Ruby’ and ‘HMS Bryan’, entered the city through the Bay of Málaga.



End Of Russo-Turkish War

The Russo-Turkish War includes a series of conflicts fought between Russia and the Ottoman Empire. The war indicated downfall of the Ottoman Empire and the expansion of Russian territory. One of these wars, which began in 1768, ended six years later, after the two parties signed the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca, on this day, in 1774.



Battle Of The Pyramids

The Battle of the Pyramids was fought during the French Invasion of Egypt and it precisely occurred on 21st July, 1798. In this battle, the forces headed by Napoleon Bonaparte emerged victorious, killing almost the entire army of the Mamluk rulers.



Battle Of Bull Run

During the Civil War, the Union forces, commanded by General Irvin McDowell attacked the Confederates, led by General Pierre G.T. Beauregard, near the Bull Run stream. The Confederates were joined by forces guided by General Joseph Johnston, and thus, one of the most dreadful battles of the Civil War took place on 21st July, 1861.



Romania’s Neutrality In World War I

Romania wanted to expand its territory and therefore, decided to join the Triple Alliance during World War I. However, on 21st July, 1914, the country declared that it will not support any party in the war and will have a neutral approach towards it.



The Orleans Attack

During World War I, on 21st July, 1918, the town of Orleans, Massachusetts, was attacked by the Germans. A U-boat belonging to the Germans fired shells off the coast of Cape Cod. While most landed on a marsh, a few of them hit the Nauset Beach, becoming the first place in the United States to experience gun shots during the war.



Battle Of Guam

During World War II, the island of Guam, which belonged to the U.S, was seized by the Japanese. Three years later, on this day in 1944, the U.S troops landed on the island and the Battle of Guam began, which resulted in the U.S taking the region under their control.



Libyan-Egyptian War Began

The four-day long border war, fought between Libya and Egypt, began on this day in 1977. The struggle, which initially began with gun shots on the border area, soon reached the land and also magnified into aerial warfare. However, the battling troops had to suspend hostility after the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat intervened.


Disasters & Natural Calamities

Egypt Hit By Tsunami

The Egyptian city of Alexandria was hit by a terrifying tsunami on this day in 365. However, at that time, science had not advanced to the extent of measuring the magnitude of the disastrous tsunami. According to today’s scientists, the two tremors might have reached an intensity of 8.0 on the Richter scale.


Disasters & Natural Calamities

‘SS Columbia’ Sinks

In one of the most tragic disasters in California, the ships ‘Columbia’ and San Pedro’ collided near Shelter Cove, causing ‘SS Columbia’ to sink. The steamer was carrying many people and the disaster resulted in the death of more than a hundred.


Disasters & Natural Calamities

‘Wingfoot Express’ Disaster

On its first day, the airship ‘Wingfoot Express’ was carrying passengers from the Grant Park to the City Amusement Park. On the way, it caught fire and hit the ‘Illinois Trust and Savings Bank Building’, which claimed 12 lives and injured around 27.


Disasters & Natural Calamities

Earthquake In Kern

In 1952, on this day, a massive earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 hit Southern California. Around 12 people succumbed to this calamity and several were injured.


Disasters & Natural Calamities

Bloody Friday

The ‘Provisional Irish Republican Army’, a paramilitary group, wanted to make Northern Ireland to be an independent state. In this pursuit, they created terror and on 21st July, 1972, they planted 22 bombs, which jolted the capital city of Northern Ireland, claiming nine lives and leaving more than 100 injured.


Disasters & Natural Calamities

Tragedy At The Okura Beach

A fireworks exhibition was organized at the Okura Beach, Akashi, Hyōgo, Japan in 2001. The last day of the event was 21st July and there a massive crowd came to witness the event. When this crowd was crossing a bridge linking JR Ansari Station and the beach, it resulted in a disaster. The insane rush pushed several people off the bridge and 11 people lost their lives in the tragedy.


Disasters & Natural Calamities

A Second Terrorist Attack

In one of the most terrorizing attacks of the century, London was bombed during the peak hours. Three of the suicide bombers were planted at subways and another in a bus. These attacks claimed many lives and injured hundreds. Two weeks after those devastating attacks, on 21st July, 2005, a series of four bombs were planted. However, the plan didn’t go as desired and the attempt was a failure.



Louis Rigolly Sets A Record

A Frenchman named Louis Rigolly drove the classic ‘Gobron-Brillié’ on 21st July, 1904. He created a record of driving at a speed of more than 100 mph, at Ostend, Belgium.



Sir Malcolm Campbell Sets Record

Renowned motorist Sir Malcolm Campbell made a record at the Pendine Sands, travelling at an average speed of 150.33 mph, while riding a Sunbeam vehicle.



Green Plays For Red Sox

This was the first time that an African-American entered and played for the baseball team ‘Red Sox’. On 21st July, 1959, Elijah Jerry “Pumpsie” Green, first appeared as a member of the Boston ‘Red Sox’ team, where they played against the ‘Chicago White Sox’, but lost to the latter.


Literature & Entertainment

CBS’s Experiment With Television

The ‘CBS’ (Columbia Broadcasting System), which started off as a radio station, experimented with television broadcast on this day in 1931. The first broadcast featured the mayors of New York, including Kate Smith, Jimmy Walker and George Gershwin.


Literature & Entertainment

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Hits Bookstores

The first book of the ‘Harry Potter’ fantasy series, penned by author J. K. Rowling was first released in 1997, and ever since it has become a sensation in the literary sphere. Ten years later, on 21st July, the last book of this series ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ reached the readers, putting an end to the series.

356 BC


Temple Of Artemis Destroyed

The Temple of Artemis, which was dedicated to goddess Artemis, was a Greek temple situated in Ephesus, which lies in Selçuk, Turkey, as of today. On 21st July, 356 BC, this temple was destructed by arson activity.



Pope Pontian Appointed

Pontian who had been the Bishop of Rome for five years was appointed to the esteemed designation of the Pope on this day in 230. He, thus, became the eighth pope of Rome.



The Queue By Dorgon

Many laws were forced on the people during the times of the Qing Dynasty, and one of those was something which the men belonging to Han Chinese ethnicity had to religiously follow. According to the law, all men had to shave their forehead and braid the rest of their hair, and this law was passed on July 21, 1645.



Wild Bill Hickok Kills Davis/Dave Tutt

The stories of Wild Bill Hickok’s bravery have made him really famous. According to folklore, he and a person named Davis Tutt held grudges against each other and when they confronted each other on 21st July, 1865, it resulted in Tutt’s death.



Van Buren Becomes Insentient

Martin Van Buren, who was the eighth president of the United States, was an alcoholic, which probably resulted in coronary ailments. On this day in 1862, the former president collapsed into a state of coma.



The Train Robbery

On this day in 1873, one of the first grand robberies took place on a train near Adair, Iowa. The gang leader was the dreaded Jesse James and the thieves learned that there is a huge treasure to be retrieved and planned the robbery in such a manner. However, to their disappointment, they found only $2,000, and then they robbed the passengers too.



Great Railroad Strike

The ‘Baltimore & Ohio Railroad’ had cut down the wages twice in the past year and this infuriated the workers. As a result, they sought to strike, demanding that the last cut down should be withdrawn. It soon spread far and wide, which called in military intervention, and on this day in 1877, twenty protesters were killed while many were injured.



The Monkey Trial

According to a law passed in Tennessee in 1925, the chapter of evolution was not to be taught in schools, because it apparently nullified the Biblical concept of how God created man. However, the same year, a teacher named John T. Scopes was found guilty of not following the law, and his trial came to be known as the ‘Monkey Trial’. On this day, the same year, he was fined for violating the rule, thus putting an end to the trial.



‘NS Savannah’ Launched

‘NS Savannah’ was the first merchant ship to run on nuclear power and it was built to show how this form of energy could be used. This was built following former American President Dwight Eisenhower’s ‘Atoms for Peace’ speech and the funds for this were provided by the U.S government. On this day in 1959, this merchant ship was launched and became the first nuclear powered ship to sail on the Atlantic Ocean.



Volkswagen Law

The ‘Volkswagen’, which is now one of the most renowned brands around the globe, was built by the Nazi party of Hitler. However, in 1960, the ‘Volkswagen Law’ was passed, which made Germany and Lower Saxony, a place where the automakers office is located, shareholders of the firm, with 20% each. law prevented any other entity to own a higher percentage than this, which shielded the firm from being acquired by any.



Mercury-Redstone 4

One of the path-breaking space endeavors of the U.S was the ‘Mercury’ program which was launched more than 5 decades ago. This was followed by the ‘Mercury-Redstone 4’ mission, which was launched on this day in 1961. This was headed by Lieutenant Colonel Virgil Ivan ‘Gus’ Grissom, who became the second American to fly in space.



Neil Armstrong Returns To Earth

The spacecraft ‘Apollo 11’ with American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin onboard reached the moon and Armstrong became the first man to walk on it. This happened on 20th July, 1969, and after spending the night on the surface of the moon, the following day they returned to earth leaving a note on the moon which said: “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot on the moon–July 1969 A.D–We came in peace for all mankind.”



Completion Of The Aswan High Dam

On this day in 1970, the construction of a dam was completed in the Egyptian city of Aswan, and it took around 11 years for this facility to be completed. This dam brought a solution to the drought which affected the lives of people and agriculture in particular.



Lowest Temperature Recorded

On this day in 1983, the Vostok Research Station recorded a drastic drop in temperature, which reached -89.2°C. This research station lies in Antarctica and this is the lowest recorded temperature on the surface of earth till date.



Space Shuttle Program Ends

The Space Shuttle Program which involved launching several manned space vehicles, began in 1972, and lasted for around 3 decades. On this day in 2011, the program ended after the Spacecraft Atlantis completed its mission and landed on Earth.



First Circumnavigation Of The World Completed

Erden Eruç, a traveler, began his journey in 2007, and on 21st July, 2012, around five years after the journey began, he was successful in completing a tour of the globe. He began from Bodega Bay, California and incredibly, ended his journey in the same place.

People Born This Day

Ernest Hemingway
American Literary Icon Who Was Known for His Straightforward Prose & Use of Understatement [ American ]
Josh Hartnett
Actor [ American ]
Robin Williams
Actor & Comedian Best Known for His Roles in 'Mork & Mindy ', 'Popeye' and 'Good Will Hunting' [ American ]
Frances Cleveland
First Lady of the United States (1886-89, 1893-97) [ American ]
Isaac Stern
American violinist [ American ]
Milan Rastislav Štefánik
One of the Founding Fathers of Czechoslovakia [ Slovak ]
Cat Stevens
Singer and Multi-Instrumentalist Known for His Albums ‘Tea for the Tillerman’ and ‘Teaser and the Firecat’ [ British ]
Rudolph A. Marcus
Chemist [ Canadian ]
Marshall McLuhan
Canadian Philosopher Known for His Work in the Field of Media Theory [ Canadian ]
Charlotte Gainsbourg
Known for Her Work in Films Like 'Antichrist,' 'Melancholia,' 'The Tree' & 'Persecution' [ French ]
Marcelo Bielsa
Argentine Professional Football Manager and Former Player Who Played as a Defender [ Argentinian ]
Beppe Grillo
Italian Actor, Comedian and Co-Founder of the ‘Five Star Movement’ Political Party [ Italian ]
Don Knotts
Actor and Comedian Known for His Role in TV Series: 'The Andy Griffith Show' and 'Three's Company' [ American ]
Janet Reno
78th United States Attorney General (1993 - 2001) [ American ]
Kaylee Halko
Instagram Star [ American ]
Maggie Lindemann
Singer [ American ]
Yolanda Gampp
Canadian Social Media Celebrity, YouTuber, Baker, and Cake Decorator [ Canadian ]
Romeo Santos
Lead Member and Vocalist of the Bachata Group 'Aventura' [ American ]
David Dastmalchian
Actor [ American ]
Chrishell Stause
Actress [ American ]
Bryiana Noelle Flores
American Model and Entrepreneur [ American ]
Pope Sixtus IV
Pope [ Italian ]
John Scarce
YouTube Star [ American ]
King Roscoe
American Rapper [ American ]
Tay Zonday
YouTuber [ American ]
Jesse James Rutherford
Singer [ American ]
Darren Le Gallo
Actor, Artist [ German ]
YouTube Star [ Canadian ]
Sara Sampaio
Portuguese Model, Best Known for Being a Victoria's Secret Angel [ Portuguese ]
Jamie Waylett
Actor [ British ]
Zerelda Mimms
Jesse James' Wife [ American ]
Jaime Murray
Best Known for Her Role as ‘Stacie Monroe’ in the TV Series ‘Hustle’ [ British ]
Rory Culkin
American Actor Best Known for His Roles in the Films: ‘Scream 4’, ‘Lords of Chaos’ and 'Columbus' [ American ]
Edward Herrmann
American Actor, Director and Writer Known for His Miniseries ‘Eleanor and Franklin' [ American ]
Mollie Sugden
Actress [ British ]
Ali Cobrin
Actress [ American ]
Peter Doocy
American Journalist and a White House Correspondent for 'Fox News' [ American ]
Ali Landry
Actress and Model Known for Her Role as ‘Rita Lefleur’ in the UPN Sitcom ‘Eve’ [ American ]
Mick Mulvaney
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from South Carolina's 5th District [ American ]
Noor Dabash
TikTok Star [ Canadian ]
YouTube Star [ British ]

People Died This Day

Albert John Luthuli
President of African National Congress (ANC) [ South African ]
David Ogilvy
Founder of Ogilvy & Mather [ British ]
Robert Burns
Poet and Lyricist widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. [ Scottish ]
Alan Shepard
Astronaut, Aviator, Entrepreneur [ American ]
Arshile Gorky
A Leading American Painter of 20th Century and a Founding Father of 'Abstract Expressionism' [ American ]
Jigme Dorji Wangchuck
Third King of Bhutan [ Bhutanese ]
Edward B. Lewis
Geneticist [ American ]
Henning von Tresckow
Military Officer [ German ]
Mako Iwamatsu
Actor [ Japanese ]
Herb Edelman
Actor [ American ]
John Heard
Known for His Films: ‘Heart Beat’, ‘Cutter's Way’, ‘Cat People’, ‘Beaches’ and ‘Deceived’ [ American ]
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